Juneteenth @ Curley
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the emancipation of African Americans in the United States. Most people believe that the 13th amendment truly abolished slavery, but if you take a deep look into 13th, Ava Duvernay’s Oscar-Nominated documentary,this was not enforced on the entire United States.
Currently I am the youngest employee at Curley Company, but one of our values is leading from every seat. When I proposed that Juneteenth be added to our company calendar, I had no expectation of results right away, but our CEO, EVP, and Head of HR got together and made it happen. I enjoy that aspect of Curley, as someone who hesitated to work at a corporation, I have found a company that welcomes me and respects me as an individual along with what I believe in.
This Juneteenth I plan to go home and see my family. On a day like Juneteenth, it is important that I surround myself with my family to celebrate my ancestors and spend time with my mom and dad who I do not see as frequently due to being a young professional and entrepreneur.
The three R’s I will put into effect this Juneteenth are rest, relaxation, and replenishment.
Rest is vital to me as I believe on a day like Juneteenth to honor my ancestors and those who came before me it is important that I actively get off my phone and get the proper amount of rest. As someone who thoroughly enjoys working, solving complex problems, assisting people, and putting others first I need to ensure that I am getting the rest I need to be healthy. According to a National Sleep Foundation Study Black and Latinx Americans spend 15 percent of their night in deep sleep (considered the most restorative phase), compared with white Americans’ 20 percent. Rest should not be a reward but a norm, especially for me as a young black man who has a lifetime to live.
Next, relaxation. I want to relax, and this comes in many different forms for everyone. To me, relaxing looks like working out, watching a movie/anime, reading a book, taking a walk, immersing myself in nature, or even running in my parents’ room to talk their ear off for an hour. These activities are not strenuous on my mind, nor do they come with a deadline or draft review.
Finally, I like to replenish or recharge. The two R’s mentioned before help lead up to this, but to fully feel back to 100% I have to be in touch with my mental health, physical health, and emotions. I will typically take a pen and my journal where I document my life and write about 15 pages every entry. I like to document what I am doing, what is currently going on within my life, and reflect. This helps keep me aware, and conscious of how I am treating others and how they treat me as well. It allows me to take a pause and think about everything that is going on, and it is also a way to disconnect from the world. This journal just deals with my life, and as a giver who typically solves other people’s problems it is important that I replenish my cup because if I don’t, no one will for me.
I dedicate my Juneteenth to rest, relaxation, and replenishment. What are you doing to honor Juneteenth?